Glendale Chamber

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce recently formed an education committee to help create dialog around developing a required skill set as employers continue to struggle in their quest for qualified employees. 

“Being both an educator and business owner, I feel there is a need to establish a stronger working relationship between both sectors,” committee Chair Angelo Rossetti said.

“Schools and universities are tasked with the mission to develop a pool of educated and responsible citizens who will be productive members of our community. For businesses to grow and be profitable, we need a steady pool of potential employees who are career ready. Forming this alliance allows all members to see how we can further the goals and mission of the committee to support each other. I am excited to see how we can best serve Glendale and the West Valley as it continues to grow.”

Uniting schools, business and the community around educational excellence, real-world learning and mentorship will inspire innovation, drive growth and attract investment.  

“Furthering strong, established partnerships with the education and business community will fortify the continued growth of a robust economy in the West Valley and throughout Arizona,” said Robert Heidt, president and chief executive officer of the Glendale Chamber. 

“A workforce developed and trained to tackle the challenges of an ever-changing, increasingly technical environment will almost guarantee high-quality employment opportunities, talent retention, and warrants Arizona as a top destination in regard to business attraction and retention.”

The committee will focus on traditional institutions of higher education and vocational training partners to develop programs tasked with meeting the need of business. Advocacy at the local, state and federal levels to ensure appropriate funding and resource allocation for education is crucial.

Additional objectives include fostering relationships whereby instruments such as mentorship, principal for a day, mock interviews, adopt a class/school, and intern/externships are avenues for the exchange of timely information. The committee will celebrate learning, expand teacher and student horizons, support real work learning, and drive programs designed to keep talent in Arizona.  

The committee is made up of local leaders in the education sector and members of the business community who have a proven track record of supporting education in the West Valley.

“SRP has a strong dedication to education and apprenticeship as well as dynamic partnerships that cultivate students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom,” said Kate Kochenderfer, senior director of supply chain, transportation and flight services at SRP.

“For many years, SRP has offered internship programs across our departments, and we partner with our state’s high schools, trade schools and universities to continue developing these programs. Our ongoing objective is to provide our community’s youth ample opportunities for career exploration with a key focus on careers in STEM and sustainability. We look forward to working with this committee to identify avenues that demonstrate the newly developing, exciting career paths available in these areas to a broad range of students from all backgrounds.”